Ask Your Preacher
“The Purpose Driven Church”Categories: NEW TESTAMENT, THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH
What is the mission of the Church? I know we can look at what the Church does or does not do in the New Testament, but are there specific verses that point to exactly what the Church should be doing?
Sincerely, Working It Out
Dear Working It Out,
The clearest verse on the subject of the church’s purpose is in the book of Ephesians. Eph 4:12-16 points out that the church was designed, so that the saints would be ‘perfected’, for the ‘work of the ministry’, and for the ‘edifying (building up) of the body of Christ’.
The church of the New Testament is supposed to help prepare christians to be better christians by filling their minds with God’s Word. We see many examples of the church being busy with this kind of teaching and learning (Acts 2:42, Col 3:16). This is how christians are perfected (Col 1:28).
The church is also to be busy about the ‘work of ministry’ – preaching to the lost. Christ said He came to save sinners (1 Tim 1:15). One of His last commands to His apostles was to preach to the lost (Matt 28:18-20). Every congregation must be actively attempting to teach the Word of God to those who don’t understand it.
After preaching to the lost and teaching the saved, the only other work that we see an example of is caring for needy christians. Paul told Timothy there was a time to help out poor widowed christians (1 Tim 5:9-10). We also see the church in Jerusalem doing this (Acts 4:34-35).
The reality is that a local congregation’s work has always been very simple:
- Teach the saved.
- Preach to the lost.
- When necessary, care for needy christians.